2nd November, 2022
The Director-General, Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA), Fatai Idowu Onafowote on Wednesday lamented that despite efforts of the state government, public procurement process at the local government level is still characterized with disagreements and conflicts.
He spoke at a roundtable discussion held with officials of the 57 Local Government Areas/Local Council Development Areas of the State to strengthen and facilitate seamless operation of the public procurement process at the Local Government level of the State.
Onafowote stated that the roundtable discussion was informed by the need to resolve the observed divergent views and conflicts arising from the implementation of the Lagos State Public Procurement Law at the Local Government level of the State.
The Director-General further pointed out that the agency was worried over the conflicts between it and the authorities of the various LGs and LCDAs on the public procurement process at the Councils, adding that the conflicts often resulted in avoidable delays in the conclusion of the procurement process of the Councils.
Onafowote noted that the Lagos State Public Procurement Law was primarily enacted to address some observed peculiarities at the Local Government level and other related issues so that public procurement process could be more flexible, more inclusive, more competitive and more responsive to deliver value for money at the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas of the State.
He added that in order to remove ambiguities and eliminate conflict in the public procurement process at the local government level, the law explicitly names officials of the council who are to serve as members of the Tenders Committee which is to be presided over by the Vice-Chairman of the Council while the Secretary to the Local Government, the Council Manager, Supervisor for Works, Legal Officer and Council Engineer serve as members with the Procurement serving as Secretary of the Committee.
Onafowote appealed to officials of the LGs and LCDAs of the State “to close ranks and work together as a team striving to achieve the common goal of entrenching good governance through proper implementation of the Lagos State Public Procurement Law 2021” in their various councils.
He also urged them to freely express their views during the roundtable discussion so that solutions to challenges militating against public procurement system at the Local Government level of the State could be found and agreed upon, stressing that it was unacceptable for Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the State to lag behind when the State is seen as a role model among the States of the Federation in view of its level of compliance to due process in public procurement.
Chairman, House Committee on Procurement, Lagos State House of Assembly, Olawale Age-Sulaimon, explained that the Procurement Law was enacted to ensure efficient management of public resources and good governance.
He, therefore, stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to enable the public procurement system to function effectively at the various Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the State.
Chairman, House Committee on Local Governments and Community Affairs, Lagos State House of Assembly, Subur Olawale, pointed out that the Procurement Law has removed all lacuna militating against the effective operation of the public procurement system at the Local Government level of the State, adding that officials of the LGs must, therefore, endeavour to read and understand the law so that they could effectively play the roles assigned to them under the Law.
Government officials who participated at the roundtable discussion which was held at the Central Business District, Ikeja, Lagos were: Vice-Chairmen, Secretaries to the Local Governments, Council Managers, Council Treasurers and Procurement Officers of the 57 LGAs/LCDAs of the State as well as Directors and staff of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency.